I dogsit sometimes and just took on a new client yesterday. She's a mostly sweet two-year-old poodle, except for the peeing (and sometimes pooping) inside thing.

I've now walked her three times:

First time: 45 minute walk about 4 hours after she was dropped off, she doesn't pee or poo (she had already pooped inside right after arriving.) Get inside and she has dinner then wants to play, then while playing squats down and just starts peeing... while jumping around. Ok, maybe put that one down to over-excitement... if it hadn't kept happening.

Second time: Another 45 minute walk, she does poo late into the walk and then I stand with her in my back-yard for an extra 10 minutes waiting for her to pee. Get back inside, she goes to her dog bed and lays down... then as I'm watching she gets up and squats down to pee in/around her bed.

Third time: Just walked her for over an hour, no pee or poo... so tied her up in the back-yard and stood there waiting over half an hour for her to go. Still nothing... right now I've just got her "locked" in the kitchen since the linoleum is a little easier to clean.

I just don't understand this though, every other dog I've ever owned/watched pees immediately when going outside... especially in the morning! It doesn't seem like a medical issue... she's not having trouble controlling her bladder. She goes hours just fine, and even asks to go out when one might expect it's time for her to potty. No accidents overnight even. It's just that when we walk, she seems to think she should potty inside after the walk...

Any ideas why a dog would act like this? Or how to correct her behavior?

  • 1
    Do you take different dogs of different clients home (one after another)? And do all dogs use the same bed or is this her personal dog bed provided by her owners?
    – Elmy
    Dec 22, 2018 at 21:19
  • @Elmy Not in this case, and it's her personal bed.
    – CodeRedick
    Dec 24, 2018 at 22:36
  • It sounds like separation anxiety which extremely hard to correct with a stranger. There is some medication that occasionally works. But I would not hold my breath. Putting in the kitchen is a good idea. Apr 17, 2020 at 13:57
  • Don't forget in such cases to check with the owners. If the behaviour is only with you then it's probably stress at the new situation. If she does the same at home then the owners have allowed bad habits to develop. You can still train good habits when she's with you. You just have to start again as though she's a puppy. Jan 27, 2021 at 0:20

1 Answer 1


It sounds like the dog is getting enough exercise, but you still might consider taking her to a local dog park for an hour or two of playtime. It should give her plenty of time to "get it out of her system".

I agree that it doesn't make sense for a 2yo to not understand that they do some things outside, not inside. Perhaps she is put in a crate (at home) when she comes inside. Or, she doesn't understand that she is only staying with you for a short while and she is misbehaving so you will send her back home. (I'm convinced my dog would be try something like that!)

For now:

  • Give her food after you return from the first walk and the last walk of the day. All day access for water only.
  • Strenuous play (whether it is at the park or in the yard) is outside only.
  • Make sure she is getting the same food at your home that she eats at hers (or at least a 50% mix) so she doesn't have an upset stomach.
  • Limit treats, and
  • Shorten one of her walks for time to train on the basics (sit, come, etc.). Not because she doesn't know them, but because it will give you a chance to praise her. I'm guessing you don't call her a "good girl" for her current behavior issue.

She misses her family. You aren't expected to replace them, but if she has more variety to look forward to, she might be less upset (physically).

  • 2
    She's been better, so I'm putting it down to stress. I've been making sure to praise her when she does go outside, and working on her pulling too. Thanks!
    – CodeRedick
    Dec 24, 2018 at 22:38

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